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									                                                                                        INDUSTRY TRENDS




Moving Java into                                                                        Telecom are now selling Java phones.
                                                                                        And, said Ben Wang, manager of sys-
                                                                                        tems development for Sprint PCS, 80
                                                                                        percent of the new phones the com-


Mobile Phones                                                                           pany sells will be Java enabled after the
                                                                                        big rollout next month. Nokia alone
                                                                                        plans to ship 50 million Java phones
                                                                                        this year and 100 million next year. In
                                                                                        fact, 15 handset makers either are or
George Lawton
                                                                                        soon will be selling 50 models of Java
                                                                                        phones.

                                                                                        Advantages
                                                                                           According to Sun’s Chu, one of




A
           s mobile technology matures,                                                 Java’s major benefits for cellular phones
           handheld-device vendors are                                                  is support for packet-based networks
           looking for ways to make                                                     running TCP/IP. Using TCP/IP makes
           their products more func-                                                    it easier to write applications that com-
           tional, and Java is one                                                      municate directly with the phone,
approach they are turning to. This is                                                   rather than relying on an intermediate
particularly the case with smart cellu-                                                 technology such as the wireless appli-
lar phones, which are using Java to                                                     cation protocol (WAP). Also, Chu said,
help add new capabilities.                                                              Java, unlike WAP, supports pictures
  In smart phones, Java functions as a                                                  and colors. In addition, he explained,
layer between the operating system                                                      the Java environment provides good
and the hardware, or runs parallel to                                                   security because it includes a sandbox
the OS within a separate chip.               which features many platforms.             that limits downloaded code’s access to
  In the past, the key constraint to run-    However, questions about Java’s per-       the rest of a host system.
ning Java on mobile devices has been         formance and a dearth of Java-based           Moreover, Java’s ability to work with
their processing, memory, and power-         applications for cellular phones, par-     different platforms is important in the
consumption limitations. However, new        ticularly in Europe and the US, remain     fragmented cellular-phone market. This
mobile hardware and software devel-          as obstacles to the technology’s wide-     capability lets a Java-enabled phone run
opments are reducing these limitations.      spread adoption in mobile devices.         applications and services written for
  Thus, industry observers expect Java                                                  other mobile platforms and also lets
use in mobile devices, which is already      DRIVING JAVA USE IN HANDHELDS              software vendors save time and money
supported by many vendors, to                  Work on Java-enabled handheld            by writing a single, Java-based version
explode during the coming years. Nick        devices began several years ago, but       of an application to run on multiple
Jones, a fellow at Gartner Inc., a mar-      completion of the Java 2 Platform          platforms. And Java-enabled phones
ket research firm, said Java will            Mobile Edition (J2ME) and support          and servers could communicate directly
become a de facto standard on mid-           from device vendors and cellular-          with each other, thereby enhancing
range and high-end cellular phones. He       phone-service providers have driven the    interactive applications.
predicted that at least 80 percent of        recent level of interest, explained Eric      Java enables smart-phone users to
mobile phones will support Java by           Chu, Sun Microsystems’ group prod-         download applications directly from
2006, although some may also run on          uct manager for industry marketing.        the Internet. Similarly, Java lets users
other technologies, such as Microsoft’s                                                 download Java applets that customize
Pocket PC operating system.                  Adoption levels                            their devices in various ways, such as
  According to Jones, mobile-device            Korea’s LG Telecom in became the         with special ring tones or improved
manufacturers’ desire for an aftermar-       first service provider to deploy Java in    caller ID. This lets users get new fea-
ket is driving interest in Java as a mech-   September 2000. Since then, users have     tures more easily. In the past, users had
anism for easily adding software to          deployed between 18 million and 20         to buy new phones, run new applica-
devices.                                     million Java-enabled telephones, said      tions remotely using WAP, or download
  Java also permits applications to          Sun spokesperson Marie Domingo.            programs first downloaded to a PC.
work across platforms. This is impor-          Companies such as Nextel in the US,         Meanwhile, there are many Java
tant in the mobile-phone market,             NTT DoCoMo in Japan, and British           developers, which makes it easier for

                                                                                                             June 2002              17
     I n d u s t r y Tr e n d s




                                                                                                       Other approaches help Java tech-
                                                                                                     nologies designed for larger computers
                                                                 Java 2 Platform                     work on mobile devices.
                                                               Micro Edition (J2ME)                    For example, SavaJe developed the
                                                                                                     SavaJe OS, which supports Java appli-
              Optional                                                                               cations in a mobile environment by
              packages                                                                               optimizing J2SE libraries for common
                                                                                                     mobile CPUs. Mathew Catino,
                              Optional
                              packages                                                               SavaJe’s cofounder and vice president
                                                                                                     of marketing, said Java applications
                Java 2
               Platform                         Personal             Personal
                                                                                                     typically spend 80 to 90 percent of
              Enterprise       Java 2
                              Platform         basis profile          profile                        their time executing the libraries.
                Edition
                (J2EE)        Standard                                                               Therefore, he explained, optimizing
                               Edition               Foundation profile                MIDP          the libraries enables applications to run
                               (J2SE)
                                                               CDC                     CLDC          10 to 20 times faster.
                                                                                                       Zeosoft has developed ZeoSphere
                                         JVM                                           KVM           Developer, which permits the creation
                                                                          Source: Sun Microsystems   of mobile applications that support
                                                                                                     Enterprise Java Beans, Sun’s Java-based
                                                                                                     software-component architecture. This
     Figure 1. Sun’s three primary Java platforms are each designed primarily to run on a differ-    could simplify the development of com-
     ent type of machine. The Java 2 Platform Enterprise Edition is designed for servers; the        plex enterprise applications that com-
     Java 2 Platform Standard Edition for workstations, PCs, and laptops; and the Java 2 Plat-       municate and run across servers (via
     form Micro Edition for PDAs, smart cellular phones, and other smaller systems. J2EE and         J2EE), PCs (via J2SE), and mobile
     J2SE use the full Java virtual machine (JVM). J2ME also works with the slimmed-down K           devices (via J2ME).
     virtual machine (KVM), the connected limited device configuration (CLDC), and the mobile
     information device profile (MIDP).                                                               Software development tools
                                                                                                        Application developers can use exist-
     vendors of Java-enabled mobile de-                   J2ME generally incorporates the            ing tools to create Java programs for
     vices to find people to write their soft-          connected limited device configuration         handheld devices by limiting their code
     ware.                                             (CLDC), which is implemented on top           to libraries and APIs supported by
                                                       of operating systems and serves as an         J2ME.
     MAKING JAVA WORK                                  interface between the OS and Java-               However, J2ME includes only a lim-
     IN HANDHELDS                                      based applications. The CLDC gener-           ited number of development libraries,
        Sun, which designed and manages                ally uses the K virtual machine (KVM),        noted Jacob Christfort, chief technol-
     development of Java, is in the forefront          a slimmed-down, less-functional ver-          ogy officer of Oracle’s Mobile Division.
     of making the technology work in hand-            sion of the Java virtual machine (JVM)           Also, said Gartner’s Jones, enter-
     held devices. However, other vendors              for small devices. The J2ME mobile            prises might shy away from J2ME
     have also become active in this area.             information device profile (MIDP) sits         because of the poor user interface de-
                                                       on top of the CLDC and provides a set         signed for small device screens, the
     Sun Microsystems                                  of APIs that define how mobile phones          primitive threading model, and mini-
        Sun and a group of partners created            will interface with applications.             mal native data-handling facilities. In
     J2ME to make Java work on smaller                                                               essence, he explained, the design
     devices. J2ME includes some core Java             Other vendors                                 approach that lets J2ME work on small
     instructions and APIs but runs more                  Several vendors besides Sun are cre-       devices sometimes makes it inappro-
     easily on small devices because it has a          ating Java-based technologies for hand-       priate for large-scale enterprise uses.
     smaller footprint than the Java 2                 held devices. Hewlett-Packard makes              To address these concerns, several
     Platform Standard Edition (J2SE) or               the MicroChaiVM (http://www.hp.               vendors have released or will soon
     Enterprise Edition (J2EE), shown in               com/products1/embedded/products/dev           release development toolkits or toolkit
     Figure 1, and has only those features             tools/microchai_vm.html), a cloned            extensions to help developers more
     relevant for the targeted devices. For            JVM that doesn’t have Sun’s licensing         easily meet enterprise applications’
     example, J2ME’s graphics and data-                fees and usage restrictions. Several ven-     needs. The new approaches include
     base-access capabilities are less sophis-         dors, including Ericsson and HP, plan         Sun’s Forte for Java Programming
     ticated.                                          to use MicroChaiVM-based phones.              Tools, the Oracle 9i Application Server

18               Computer
Wireless architecture toolkit, and the
Sprint PCS Wireless Toolkit.
  Because of J2ME’s shortcomings,
Jones said, corporate applications will
                                                                                         ETM9 interface
probably be based on the larger-foot-
print J2SE as mobile devices get more                            Instruction                                             Data
processing power.                                                   TCM                                                  TCM
                                                                  interface                                            interface
  Regardless, said John Montgomery,
product manager with Microsoft’s                                Instruction                ARM9EJ-S                       Data
                                                                   cache                     core                        cache
.NET Development Group, current
Java tools are too primitive and diffi-                        Memory                                               Memory
                                                             management                                           management
cult to use for most developers.                                unit                                                 unit



                                                            A R M96EJ- S
Server-side handheld Java                                                                              Write buffer
  Another Java-enabling approach                                               Control logic and bus interface unit
would link handheld devices to Java
applications and services on servers.
AT&T Wireless, BEA Systems, IBM,                                           Coprocessor                AHB interface
Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Sun, and other                                           interface            Instruction      Data
companies have created the Java-based
Open Mobile Architecture for linking
cellular phones and servers. The project                                                                              Source: ARM Ltd.
would augment J2EE, designed pri-
marily for servers, so that it would sup-
port standards that mobile devices can      Figure 2. ARM Ltd.’s ARM926EJ-S chip includes the company’s Jazelle technology in its
use with Internet-based information.        ARM9EJ-S Java-enabled processor core. In addition, the chip includes separate ETM
The standards include XHTML (for            (embedded trace macrocell), data TCM (tightly coupled memory), and AHB (advanced
displaying Web pages on mobile              high-performance bus) interfaces.
devices), SyncML (for synchronizing
data between mobile devices and other       Components Group, said his company                    con, and Zucotto Wireless are devel-
machines), WAP 2.0 (to access Internet      has developed techniques for speeding                 oping hardware that runs Java, either
content and services), and the multime-     up the software process, which used to                as Java coprocessing cores for integra-
dia messaging service (for handheld         bog down when the CPU switched                        tion into CPUs or as stand-alone Java
messaging).                                 from instructions it could accelerate to              chips.
                                            instructions it couldn’t.                                Both hardware-based approaches
IMPLEMENTATION IN                              In addition, Intel and other soft-                 promise to increase Java-based appli-
HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE                       ware-based Java proponents say the                    cation performance and, by running
   Java technology can be implemented       latest mobile processors can run Java                 more efficiently, reduce power de-
in software or in hardware on either a      fast enough to compete with hard-                     mands on battery-dependent cellular
specialized Java acceleration chip or a     ware-based approaches.                                phones.
core within the main processor.                Analyst Markus Levy with Micro-                       Different companies’ chips execute
   Software implementations tend to         Design Resources, a semiconductor-                    different subsets of the Java instruc-
run less efficiently because systems must    industry research firm, disagreed. He                  tions. For example, ARM’s Jazelle
translate each Java instruction into        said, “People are spending a lot of                   chip, shown in Figure 2, executes
native instructions that the CPU can        energy fine-tuning the software-based                  about 68.2 percent of all possible Java
run. Separate hardware chips are more       approaches. For some people that may                  instructions, while Aurora’s DeCaf
efficient but represent additional device    be good enough, but if you really want                runs about 95 percent. Running a big-
components and cost. Java cores inte-       the most efficient implementation you                  ger set of Java instructions provides
grate some of both approaches.              need a hardware-based approach.”                      more functionality but makes a chip
                                                                                                  cost more and consume more power.
Software approach                           Java hardware                                            Joan Pendleton, Aurora’s cofounder
 In the software approach, a device’s        Companies such as ARC Cores,                         and chief architect, said there are two
CPU runs the Java code. David Rogers,       ARM Ltd., Aurora VLSI, Digital                        classes of acceleration. The first, used
marketing manager for Intel’s PCA           Communications Technologies, inSili-                  by most vendors, translates Java byte-

                                                                                                                                 June 2002   19
     I n d u s t r y Tr e n d s




     code into native processor instructions.     performance across platforms. Levy             “We are still in a phase of market
     The second directly executes Java byte-      has thus launched a Java-processor           confusion and have not yet gotten to a
     code, which offers better performance        group within the Embedded Micro-             state of market consolidation,” Jones
     but requires a larger footprint because      processor Benchmark Consortium               explained.
     of the additional circuitry necessary to     (http://www.eembc.org/). The group
     run the software in hardware.                expects to release its first benchmark
        Levy predicted that Java cores will be    by next month.                                      ccording to Jones, J2ME will
     more popular than stand-alone Java
     processors. This approach’s primary
     constraint is that developers must use
                                                  Not enough applications
                                                     There are currently some mobile-
                                                                                               A      attract more application devel-
                                                                                                      opers as it becomes a richer and
                                                                                               less constrained environment. A sur-
     a system-on-chip approach to create          Java applications, including games and       vey by Evans Data, a market research
     their products. Putting multiple func-       weather and traffic maps. However,            firm, found that wireless developers
     tions on a chip is more expensive to         Jones said, there are not enough desir-      who have used Java expect to use the
     develop, but the elimination of addi-        able mobile-Java applications yet. The       technology a bit more in 2003 than
     tional chips reduces device costs. Stand-    reason is not the technology, he said,       they will this year.
     alone Java chips are less expensive to       but instead the lack of an effective busi-      Java will also become even more
     design but lead to higher device costs.      ness model and a commercial infra-           attractive as smart phones get more
                                                  structure that would enable developers       processing power and vendors design
     CONCERNS AND CHALLENGES                      to profit from their work.                    better APIs for color screens, higher
        Mobile Java is still a relatively new                                                  quality sound, intellectual-property
     technology. Many industry watchers                                                        protection, and user-location capabil-
     say the technology has kinks that still           Industry observers                      ities, he added. However, he cautioned,
     need to be worked out.                              say mobile Java                       these extra features would give vendors
        For example, Gartner’s Jones ex-                still has kinks that                   more opportunity to create their own
     pressed concern about vendors’ differ-            must be worked out.                     Java implementations, which could
     ing Java implementations. He said                                                         fragment the application-development
     some developers are complaining about                                                     environment.
     having to manually optimize their Java         The growth of publishing interme-             Sprint PCS’s Wang said the initial
     games for different cellular phones.         diaries that would certify and sell          focus of mobile Java will be on games,
        And although there are many Java          mobile-Java software may eliminate           multimedia, and ring tones. Over time,
     developers, there are fewer who have         this problem.                                Levy added, Java will become a de
     experience working with J2ME and                                                          facto standard built into smart phones.
     writing code for small, resource-con-        HANDHELDS AND                                   SavaJe’s Catino predicted that
     strained devices.                            THE FUTURE OF JAVA                           Microsoft and Java-based technologies
        Overall, said Microsoft’s Mont-              Jones said Java is doing well on          are likely to coexist in phones during
     gomery, “J2ME is an interesting set of       back-end servers because Java-based          the coming years. Third-party vendors
     engineering compromises, but I would         applications can easily be redeployed        could help this process by developing
     argue exactly the wrong set of compro-       as companies buy new servers. How-           software-integration techniques that
     mises. It is too big for the smallest        ever, he noted, client-side Java use         would combine the two environments
     devices but too small to have the features   has faded considerably because many          in devices. I
     you want on the smartest devices.”           enterprise-application developers turned
                                                  to Visual Basic to work within the cor-
     Performance                                  porate environment, which is typically       George Lawton is a freelance technol-
       Jones said that mobile Java can be         Microsoft-based. Thus, the battle for        ogy writer based in Brisbane, Califor-
     somewhat slow because the KVM is             the mobile platform is important to          nia. Contact him at glawton@
     not particularly fast. However, he           Sun.                                         glawton.com.
     added, the KVM should become faster             However, Sun’s Java initiatives for
     in the future, particularly as phones        cellular phones are facing stiff compe-
     with more memory can run just-in-time        tition from various sources, including
     compiler technology, which enhances          Microsoft’s wireless efforts, the Sym-
                                                                                                Editor: Lee Garber, Computer, 10662 Los
     performance. “In five years,” he said,        bian operating system, Linux, and Qual-
                                                                                                Vaqueros Circle, PO Box 3014, Los Alamitos,
     “[performance] will be a nonissue.”          comm’s binary runtime environment for
                                                                                                CA 90720-1314; l.garber@computer.org
       Another problem, said Levy, is a lack      wireless (http://www.qualcomm.com/
     of standards to objectively measure          brew/).

20               Computer

								
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